One of every three cancers diagnosed in the United States this year will be skin cancer, for a total of more than 700,000 new cases. The risk of skin cancer is greatest in summer because ultraviolet rays from the sun are the main cause of skin cancer.
Fortunately, the most common types of skin cancers have a cure rate of more than 95% if they are detected and treated early. Even better, almost all skin cancers can be prevented simply by protecting the skin from the sun’s harmful rays.
Dr. Sikorski has extensive experience in the diagnosis and treatment of all types of skin cancer and precancerous conditions and performs Mohs Skin Cancer Surgery.
Using a special magnified viewing scope with a bright LED light called a dermatoscope, gives a highly magnified cross polarized view of skin lesions both on the surface and within deep skin structures. A trained skin cancer specialist can utilize these special screening tools to more precisely examine the skin for early cancer detection and to also reassure patients if a suspicious lesion is not showing evidence of cancerous vasculature. Dr. Sikorski uses the Dermlite developed by 3Gen.
Skin cancer is the most common cancer in humans. Cancer in general is very frightening disease, but there are two positive aspects to skin cancer:
Basal cell carcinoma is the most common form of skin cancer. It usually develops on sun exposed areas as a small, round, raised, red spot. If detected early the chances of cure are good. Is a BCC left untreated it tends to grow in a very destructive and disfiguring way.
Smooth, pink bumps with a pearly sheen that later crust, ulcerate, and bleed.
Commonly occur on the sun exposed parts of the body, especially the head, neck and hands. Read complete information on Basal Cell Carcinoma on Skinsight.com.
Although anyone of any ethnic background and any age can develop basal cell carcinoma, the overwhelming majority of people with this type of skin cancer are white and middle-aged or elderly. In fact, more than 99% of people with basal cell carcinoma are white, and more than 95% are between the ages of 40 and 80 years old. Men and women seem to develop basal cell carcinoma at fairly equivalent rates. In addition, sun exposure plays a large role in the development of basal cell carcinoma. People who live in sunnier climates or who spend time outdoors due to work or hobbies are more likely to have basal cell carcinoma.
In addition to the treatments noted below for SCC there are other methods of attacking Basal Cell Skin Cancer.
Squamous cell carcinoma is the second most common skin cancer. It also mainly develops on sun exposed areas. It is a slowly growing cancer with a tendency to spread to other parts of the body. Often there is a relation to actinic keratosis, a preliminary stage of skin cancer. If SCC detected early the cure rates are good.
Raised, scaly, pink, wart like growths, which ulcerate as they enlarge. These are also common on the sun-exposed areas. Read complete information on Squamous Cell Carcinoma on Skinsight.com.
If caught early and treated appropriately, squamous cell carcinomas generally have a good prognosis.
Treatment of a biopsy-proven squamous cell carcinoma depends upon many factors, including its microscopic appearance, its size and depth, its location on the face or body, and the general health of the patient. In general, the following treatment options exist for squamous cell carcinoma:
Rarely, the squamous cell carcinoma may spread internally (metastasize). Squamous cell carcinomas that develop in scars, on the lip, and on the ear have the highest risk of spreading. Lymph nodes may need to be examined for the presence of SCC. If internal spread is suspected, referral to an oncologist (a physician specializing in cancer treatment) for possible chemotherapy or other treatments would be appropriate.
Finally, it is important to remember that treatment of squamous cell carcinoma is not complete once the skin cancer has been removed. Frequent follow-up appointments with a dermatologist or with a physician trained to examine the skin are essential to ensure that the SCC has not recurred and that a new skin cancer has not developed.
Malignant melanoma is the most dangerous and life-threatening skin cancer of all killing nearly 7,000 Americans each year. It has a great potential to spread to other parts of the body. Certain moles have the tendency to change their appearance and turn into MM. Because of the severity of MM it is important for survival to detect MM as early as possible.
Melanoma masquerades as innocent skin growths or moles. They can look like a mole, bump or growth on the skin. It can appear anywhere on the body. In men, melanoma is found most often on the chest, stomach or back, and in women it is found most often on the legs. Beware of any development of a multicolored mole with jagged uneven borders or any other change in size, shape or color. Unlike the other skin cancers, these can occur on any part to the body.
Sometimes there are also abnormal skin areas that are not yet skin cancer. They are called precancerous since they have the potential to turn into skin cancer. This precancerous condition is called Actinic Keratosis.
Actinic keratosis is a precancerous skin disease which is often associated with SCC. It nearly always occurs on sun exposed areas and looks like a harmless rough scaly skin patch. But it may develop into skin cancer. Therefore always pay attention to your skin. Do not let an actinic keratosis turn into a skin cancer.
It is most commonly seen in elderly, light-skinned people with a large amount of sun exposure. Risk factors for the development of squamous cell carcinoma include:
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You'll enjoy a relaxing visit to our office where you can ask questions, meet our staff, take a tour of our office and surgical suite and view additional photo results of our patients.
Your consultation assessment is with Dr. Sikorski, not an impersonal or commissioned sales person. Fees and procedure preparations are discussed with our patient coordinator, who will detail the surgical experience with you. We look forward to meeting with you and helping you find the simplest solution to achieve the goals you desire.